Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski spoke to Foreign Policy‘s Josh Rogin last week about his country’s cooperation with American missile defense plans. The Bush administration’s plans to put missile defenses in Poland was sold—as these things generally are—as a bulwark against missile launches by a rogue state (in this case, Iran.) As Rogin explains, this was all poppycock: the interceptors were designed to shoot down long-range missiles and would have had a lot of trouble shooting down anything launched by Tehran. And as it turns out, Sikorski isn’t all that worried about the Islamic Republic nuking Warsaw. “If the mullahs have a target list we believe we are quite low on it,” the foreign minister told Rogin.
All this reminds me of Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-Mass.) arguments against spending gobs of money on missile defense in Europe. Frank likes to talk about Prague, not Warsaw, but the analogy holds. “I will confess that I am not a regular reader of Iranian-issued fatwahs,” Frank quipped last year. “And probably one of the ones I missed was the one where they threatened devastation against Prague. We plan to spend several billion dollars to protect the Czech Republic against Iran. That’s either a great waste of money or a very belated way to make up for Munich.” Is Sikorski thinking along the same lines?